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Asset Management | Bridge Technology | Operations | Pavement

Enhancement of the Pavement Health Track (PHT) Analysis Tool Final Report

Highway Data Viewer


The objective of this task was to implement a custom data viewer window for the PHT Analysis tool user interface that provides rich features for editing HPMS2010 formatted data, specifically the PHT required data subset.

HPMS is the official source of data on the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of the nation's highways. In 2010 the FHWA completed its reassessment of the HPMS data and produced a specification that significantly changes its format, content, and nature from the previous 2000 format specification. The 2010 specification designates the HPMS data to be stored in an active relational database, but still provides a flat file export format. The previous version of the PHT analysis tool used the flat file format and displays it using a simple table viewer with no HPMS-specific capabilities. An HPMS customized viewer window as developed to provide both the HPMS data and the PHT analysis results, with features designed specifically to augment the user experience.

The following features are provided.

  • Custom drop-down lists for enumerated data items
  • Color-coded display to enhance viewing source data, analysis results, and records that identify data validation errors
  • Validation error report window that links detected validation errors to individual records and fields
  • Customizable layout that allows the user to arrange and hide data columns
  • Vertical record display that provides a more usable and readable view
  • Improved user interface for selecting highway sections.
  • Quick summary window that provides summation of the current conditions of the highway sections prior to running the analysis.
  • PHT results interpreter so that the user can quickly understand the PHT results.

Graphical User Interface

The PHT database is the source data for the RSL analysis. It contains the data fields that describe the condition of each highway section. Each record in the database represents a highway section and can be individually selected for analysis. The PHT database window is shown in Figure 80.

The table interprets enumerated values and translates them into human readable text. It also provides for a customizable layout that allows the columns to be arranged and hidden in any why desired by the user. The table is normally in read-only mode to prevent unintentional changes to the highway data, but can be placed in an edit mode if needed.

A vertical oriented panel is available that displays the data items of the selected highway section in a convent format that allows all of the data items to be seen at once. The vertical panel is located on the left of the window and can be expanded by dragging the slider bar to the right.

A screen shot show the Data tab associated with RSL analysis. A vertical pane to the left lists the data fields, and a larger pane to the right displays the data table in rows, each of which is selectable.
Figure 80. PHT Database Window

The PHT database window provides layout formatting, editing, and validation testing through popup menus. The menus are activated by RIGHT-clicking on individual records or on the column headers. Each menu is described in the following paragraphs.

When validation testing has been performed, individual highway sections that have violated one or more validation tests are highlighted with a red shaded background. When one of these errant records is selected, a list of its validation errors is displayed in the panel at the bottom of the window. DOUBLE-clicking on an error message entry will cause the application to jump focus to the specific record and data item that has caused the error. Individual validation rules can be enabled or disabled from the PHT properties window.

The error message panel for the validation rules normally displays the validation errors for the selected highway section; however it can also show all the validation errors of the entire dataset or a list of each unique error message in that dataset. To change how the validation errors are displayed, RIGHT-click on the panel to display its popup menu and select an option under the View menu item.

Selecting Highway Sections

The first column in the table determines if a highway section will be included in the PHT analysis. If this field is checked, the record will be analyzed by the PHT tool when the analysis is run; otherwise the record will be ignored. To select or unselect a highway section, you can manually click on its checkbox or use the selection commands available from the menu that is activated by RIGHT-clicking on the Select column header. This menu provides the following options for selecting records.

  • Select All. Select all highway sections.
  • Select Range. Select the highway sections in the highlighted range, unselect others.
  • Clear Selection. Unselect all highway sections.
  • Toggle Selection. Toggle the selection state of all highway sections.
  • Select Valid Records. Select only highway sections without validation errors.
  • Select Errant Records. Select only highway sections with validation errors.
  • Select by Query. Display a query wizard to select highway.

When selecting highway sections by Query, the query builder shown in Figure 81 is used.

This figure contains two screen shots associated with the Selection Query tool. One is the Filter Wizard tab, where the user can confirm or change fields and criteria for the filter operation. The other is the SQL Text tab, where the user can generate a query from lists that provide options for fields, operators, functions, and values.
Figure 81. Selection Query Builder

The Filter Wizard tab provides an interface to select the data fields and enter the selection criteria to select the records that meet the criteria. The selection can either add to the current selection or replace it entirely.

Users that are comfortable working directly with the SQL language may also enter the SQL text using the SQL text window. The SQL text represents the WHERE clause of a SQL statement and must comply with all SQL syntax rules. This window provides a list of available data fields, operators, built-in functions, and a list of unique values for the selected field.

Editing the Highway Data

Normally the Highway Data Viewer window is in a read-only mode with the only edit that are allowed are the setting of the selection column. However, when the need arises to modify the highway data to address validation issues, the highway data viewer can be placed into edit mode which will allow the use r to make any necessary changes.

Placing the Highway Data Viewer window into edit mode is done using the popup menu which appears when you RIGHT click on any record in the table. The items in the Record menu apply to the selected record, while the items in the Table sub-menu apply to the entire table.

These menu items are provided in the Record menu:

Menu Item Function
Select Select the record for analysis
Unselect Unselect the record so it will not be included in the PHT analysis
Validate Perform validation testing on the selected record
Table Displays the Table sub-menu
Copy Row(s) Copy the selected row(s) to the clipboard
Copy with Headers Copy the row(s) along with the column headers to the clipboard
Paste Paste the contents of the clipboard to the table

These menu items are provided in the Table menu:

Menu Item Function
Begin Editing Place the PHT database window in edit mode to allow user editing of the highway data table. If already in edit mode, this item will labeled End Editing and will terminate the PHT database window edit mode
Save Save all changes to the highway data table
Validate All Validate all records in the highway data table
Save Layout Save the current layout of the table
Restore Layout Restore the default layout of the table

Each data item provides a popup menu that appears when by RIGHT-clicking on the column header. Items in this menu apply only to the column that was clicked.

Menu Item Function
Fill Data Display a dialog window that allows you to fill the selected column with a new value, overwriting all previously existing values in the column
Search and Replace Display a dialog window that allows search the selected column for a particular value and replace it with a new value
Sort Sort the selected column in ascending or descending order
Hide Hide the selected column
Show List hidden columns so that individual columns can be re-shown
Show All Show all hidden columns

The Search and Replace window allows you to search a column of data for a particular value and replace it with a new value. The search operation can apply to a selected range or to the entire column. The Fill Data window allows you to fill a column of data with a new value overwriting all previously existing values in the column. The fill operation can apply to a selected range, from the current record to the end of the table, or the entire column.

This figure contains two screen shots. One is the Search and Replace (Year of Last Improvement) window where the user can input the year for search and the year for replace. The other is the Fill Data (Year of Last Improvement) window where the user can input a year and select fill options for the operation.
Figure 82. Search/Replace and Fill Dialog Window

Highway Data Summary

The Highway Data Viewer window provides a summary of the highway records in the data set to summarize the percentage of highway sections that already have a failing measured distress or have exceed their maximum service life as well as the minimum, maximum, and average distress values and surface age for the rigid, flexible, and composite pavement types. This summary is useful to help assess the highway data set prior to running the analysis.

The distress thresholds and maximum service life durations are defined as part of the PHT analysis parameters. To perform a summary analysis, first select the PHT parameters metrics from the drop-down list at the top of the window and click the Refresh button.

A screen shot shows the Summary tab under the Highway Data Viewer, where the user can view data can be reviewed prior to running the analysis.
Figure 83. Highway Data Summary

Only the highway sections that are selected in the data set are used when performing the summary analysis. This allows summaries of different subsets of highway sections, by first selecting only the sections of interest and then clicking the Refresh button.

The Copy button on the toolbar will copy the summary analysis results to the Windows clipboard in a format that is compatible with Microsoft® Word or Excel.

Result Viewer Window

After the PHT analysis is complete, the results are displayed in a viewer similar to the highway data viewer window as shown in Figure 84.

A screen shot shows Result Viewer window, where the user can view a list of the data fields and values on the left and the data table on the right.
Figure 84. PHT Result Viewer

The Result Viewer window displays the original highway data that was analyzed by the PHT tool using the same interface as the PHT Database window. The vertical oriented panel on the left of the window provides information about the analysis for the highway data record selected in the table including the RSL estimates, a summary report, and an analysis log. All data items in this window are read-only and cannot be modified.

The Data tab in the vertical panel provides a view of the PHT analysis results for the highway data record selected in the table. All the RSL data items can be displayed, or you can filter the display into categories using a popup menu that appears when you RIGHT-click anywhere on the data list. The filtering options include RSL by years, by ESALs, and user-defined fields

The Log tab is only available if a log file has been captured during the analysis and the file is available for display. The content of the log file is determined by the logging properties that are set as part of the PHT properties. It displays the log entries created in the log file for the highway data record selected in the table. The log entries are useful to track the analysis process to aid in understanding the results. Each log entry is identified as an error, warning, or informational message.

Result Summary

The Summary tab provides a user-friendly readable summary of the analysis results for the highway data record selected in the table as shown in Figure 85. The summary highlights the estimated RSL for the pavement surface and illustrates the distresses and service life limits that contributed to the RSL estimate. It also annotates the analysis with notes that describe the pavement construction and any unusual conditions in the data.

A screen shot shows the Summary tab of the Result Summary tool, where the user can view a summary of general information, remaining service life, distress at end of service, RSL by distress, and notes.
Figure 85. Result Summary Window

The result summary can provide the following annotations.

  • A description of the highway sections construction including its surface and base type, and its pavement, base, and overlay thickness.
  • An indication if the pavement has already exceeded its maximum service life.
  • An indication if the pavement will exceed its maximum service life prior to any distress exceeds it terminal threshold.
  • An indication if any distress has already exceeded its terminal thresholds prior to beginning of the PHT analysis period.
  • An indication of which distress(s) have exceeded it terminal threshold.
  • Maintenance options available if the maintenance model is applied.
Updated: 11/22/2013